Thursday, February 13, 2014

Three checklists: to-dos, maybe-to-dos, and R&R

Today's relaxation: creating my Valentine's bouquet
The coaching session this morning was really helpful. By the end, I'd drawn three lists for next week. (I'm thinking of them with the vocabulary of food, since I'm writing before supper.)

1. The first is a "to-do"list of things seriously on my plate. I must "eat" these before next weekend.

2. Then come the "maybe-to-dos": these items are more like side dishes, nutritional but not essential. They don't have to be consumed next week. I'll slot those projects into the days as they come, according to appetite: "Do I have time to eat this? Do I have enough energy to burn this off?"

3. The final list is "relaxation" = dessert. What would de-stress the day, refresh my spirit, or make me feel like I'm on vacation - or at least on Sabbath?

I prioritize List 3. Without relaxation and refreshment, I don't think creatively. Part of the list includes engagement with others; a significant part focuses on withdrawal to do things I prefer to do alone.

How can we determine the priorities of our to-dos over our "eventually" important tasks? What gets urgent or immediate calendar time vs. more flexibility for long-term events or processes? I used these criteria to create my three lists:

  1. List 1: What needs doing? These things have definite consequences if left undone before a deadline - to me personally or professionally. They may also impact others if neglected.
  2. List 1/2: What longterm projects need to be started? Some of these go on the "to-do" list, while others are a "maybe," to be done as I have time.
  3. List 2: What would I like to get done? These important things may have some consequences but don't significantly change the future without a hard deadline.
  4. In scheduling things for the calendar (mostly to-dos), how much time or effort will it take? (Break some things into smaller chunks for better digestion!)
  5. List 2: What can I postpone? These "maybe"s are options. They seem to move me toward a goal but are not important enough to prioritize. For instance, some take 15 minutes; if I have that slot of time, I may jump on them and get them out of the way. If not, no big deal.
  6. List 3: What refreshes me? For example, I have a coupon for Aveda Spa that expires at the end of February. On my relaxation list is, "Call Emma about going out for a girls' day out." I penciled in a book I've meant to read. And I've noted, "Finish that Korean drama." I don't have to do any of these items, but even writing them down already makes me smile and feel more relaxed.
My new tabletop bouquet of plants
and ceramic painted mushrooms (assembled
after a visit with W to Molbaks Nursery)
When we'd finished the coaching session this morning, I had a clear picture of what a great next week would look like. List 1 would be completed. List 2 would have some checkmarks. I would have done at least a few things from List 3.

How do you decide on your to-dos, maybe-to-dos, and time-outs? If you've found an effective routine or method, please share it with us!

Read more:
*You save humans and animals alike, O Lord. ... With you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Psalm 36:6, 9 ESV

*Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24 NLT

*Jesus said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink." John 7:37 NIV

*The creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Romans 8:21 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Jesus, Light of the world, thank you for your unfailing love. Help us to put our trust in you. May we look to you for living water and for the Spirit to guide us. In your name we pray.

Creator God, who made us and every creature, the Psalmist tells us that in your unfailing love you preserve both human and beast. Thank you for watching over us and protecting us. We offer praise that through your Son's birth, death, and resurrection we are given freedom from the power of death. Our hope is in you and in the life to come. Amen.

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